Another business trip, another city. This time I am (yes, again) in Budapest, a city that I am in love with. I can never get tired of roaming the streets of this beautiful place, taking in its past and present, as these are entwined in a very pleasing manner. Looks like Hungarians know what to do with both the past and present, showing these to the visitors and locals alike. Few cities I know of in Central Europe are so photographable, so to say.
This time I had my Nikon FM3A with me, with a few extra Nikon lenses, which is pretty unusual for me; most of the times when I use a non-AF Nikon camera, I just take a 28/2 and a 35-70/2.8. When I use the Nikon F4, I almost always shoot with an AF 50/1.8 D, which is a prime on that camera, and a very sharp one too. This time however I had a 55/2.8 Micro, a trusty 50/2 and a recent pre-acquisition, a 50/1.2. To be honest, the 1.2 went with me just for testing, never shot this type of lens in a Nikon before. Focus is a bit stiff, but the lens displays no sign of damage, glass is clear and the aperture ring is in excellent condition.
Aside note: Regarding this 50/1.2, I do not like the lens, period. Very soft at 1.2, it gets really good from 2 upwards. The focusing is a pain, with the shallowest dof I have ever seen. It does have its perks though: the bokeh (if you’re one to go for such) it is said to be really beautiful, but I do not take photographs for the bokeh, I shoot to photograph what is in front of me. I know, I’m even shallower than the lens’ depth of field. So yes, if you hit the sweet spot of the focus, the image is really excellent, if not, becomes a complete waste of your time and film. Why should I spend a wade of cash on a 1.2 lens that shoots good starting with aperture set at 2? Of course this is just my opinion, and I do remind you I am but an amateur, not a pro when it comes to photography…
This here (not related to the Budapest visit) is a sample taken with the 1.2 lens wide open on a Nikon F4/Ilford XP2@400. So this settles why I haven’t used the 1.2 during my trip in Budapest.
The matter of the 1.2 set and cleared, I revert to Budapest trip; great as already said. I believe this is one of the cities that I am drawn to photograph its streets and people more than its architecture or anything else. It’s just that sort of place where you lose count of time and rolls of film.
The Nikon FM3A performed admirably, as usual. All these photographs were taken with Agfa APX 100 and a 50/2 Nikkor manual focusing lens. To be honest, I didn’t feel the need to switch to a wider lens.